Pedaling for Progression
(Originally published: 3/25/12)
I have enjoyed cycling for as long as I can remember. I discovered at a young age that it is one of the closest experiences to flying available to the common man. That said, I have integrated it into my life for far more than just a hobby in the past few years.
In my ideal world, people would prefer a bicycle to a motorized vehicle for short-distance destinations. An abundant amount of research has proven cycling to be beneficial for:
The amount of bicycle commuting in the US has increased by 150% between 2004-2009, but the bicycle still remains to be an underutilized and unappreciated mode of transportation. Tom Fucoloro, a contributor to the Seattle Bike Blog, wrote an article which explains why the media plays a huge part in the adamant, negative stereotype of cycling. I want to determine what necessary changes the U.S. would need to make in order to categorize vehicular cycling as a socially acceptable and legitimate alternative to motorized vehicles for short-distance trips.
In order to obtain this information, I will need to compare and contrast various factors of both the U.S. and the U.K. such as bicycle laws, ideologies, infrastructures, values and promotional efforts. I am going to focus my comparative research on New York City and London as they are comparable in both population size and global influence. I intend to apply all of my compiled, analyzed research to my area of expertise, inner city bicycle promotion.
Many Americans associate the bicycle with negative stereotypes. The negative stereotype ranges from an indicator of poor socioeconomic status to a vehicle of the most affluent elitists. I am excited to determine what steps need to be taken as a society to integrate the bicycle on the road as well as in the minds of the general population. I am also looking forward to learning about the history of the bicycle and its emergence in European culture.